For anyone uninformed, unprepared or generally living in a hole the last few days, Rick Greenspan is gone. That news ought to elicit plenty of “finallys” and “it’s about times” and even a “serves him right” or two. \nAside from Kelvin Sampson, Greenspan was the most controversial figure in IU athletics this side of Bob Knight, and his departure comes as no surprise since it is coupled with a sixth NCAA violation for “failure to monitor” the basketball program.\nWhile we won’t get into a debate about the fairness of that last bit of news from the NCAA, the fact that Greenspan is gone will shed no tears here. It’s hard to feel sorry for a man who just got paid $400,000 to resign from a job that I’m sure he coveted as one of the best in the nation.\nI never met Greenspan personally; I only spoke to him a couple of times on the phone. As a member of the press, I seemed at odds with him more times than not, but such is the case between the media and any sports team. \nTo be fair, do not simply swear off the man for the mess he leaves behind. Greenspan’s track record of hiring coaches was superb. Many of the coaches he brought into the fold in Bloomington have found continued success and improvement in their respective sports. \nMore kudos should go to the man for the once and future facilities upgrades he’s brought in his four years at IU (don’t underestimate the new baseball field, it’s my pick to click). \nBut to this reporter, Greenspan will often be remembered more for what he was than for what he wasn’t. \nHe wasn’t accessible, he wasn’t outgoing with his most consistent and passionate fanbase – students – and there was always a feeling that he cared more for the pocketbook of his department than anything else. \nGreenspan certainly was a man who did things his way. He never faltered in the face of criticism of his hiring and firing practices, and he plowed through the Kelvin Sampson landfill as strongly as anyone ever could have.\nBut in the end, Greenspan will be remembered simply as the man who presided over Kelvin Sampson, the Enron-like CEO at the downfall of IU athletics.\nIs that a fair designation? Probably not. But that’s an inevitability Greenspan must deal with.\nThere is an oft-used phrase that suggests history will remember us not for who we are, but for what we do.\nNot quite.\nHistory will remember us for what those of us writing history will remember us doing. And those who write the history of Greenspan’s tenure at the helm of the athletics department will remember him for a few phone bills and a late-night press conference, simple as that.\nPerhaps it is unfair to judge four arguably solid years of work on a few tense and stressful months, but that’s the way it will be. Greenspan departs at the end of the year, but his legacy was written in stone four months ago.\nThe best thing he can do now is clean up as much mess as possible before cleaning out his own office. There’s plenty of work to go around.
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